GFRC – Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete
GFRC or Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete has paved the way for a myriad of new uses for concrete in art and architecture. A strong, flexible and affordable product, GFRC can be used for façade wall panels, fireplace surrounds, vanity tops and concrete countertops. Typically, GFRC is used for exterior buildings or architectural features. A high strength alkali resistant glass fiber is embedded into the concrete matrix, allowing for applications such as structural laminate and sandwich panels.
After years of toying with concrete in many different facets, GFRC is considered by many to be the end all be all of the precast concrete industry. With the ability to cast at very thin (yet still exceedingly strong) rates GFRC panels are made to cover the exterior of buildings with beautiful decorative facades that would normally be nearly impossible to make by hand. GFRC molds are also used in small art pieces and crown moldings or other decorative pieces to give a very real look while still maintaining a lightweight product that can be easily installed and moved.
The biggest advent of this industry came when it was discovered that the contents of what would normally make up a GFRC mix could all be placed into a “bagged mix” to be more accessible to the not just commercial contractors, but to the general public. GFRC is more cost effective for smaller projects, widening its use and versatility in which mediums it can be utilized.
Some of the benefits of GFRC include, construction of light weight panels which are thinner and lighter; as well as the high compressive, flexural and tensile strength attributes, making the concrete more flexible and resistant to cracking.
With a variety of applications processes, GFRC is versatile in where it can be used. These applications include, Spray-Up, Premix and Hybrid.
Spray-up can be compared to shortcrete, as the GFRC is fluid concrete can be sprayed into forms, making their design possibilities endless.
Premix uses shorter fibers that are mixed into the fluid concrete and then poured into molds and or sprayed using spray guns.
Hybrid is another option to consider when creating with GFRC, as it is more cost effective due to the application process.
When planning your next design project, consider using GFRC as it is versatile in design elements, cost effective to help keep your project costs manageable and it is easy to use.